DARPA brings The Terminator uncomfortably closer with Atlas

DARPA Atlas RobotBoston Dynamics have created some advanced robots so far, such as BigDog, but their latest creation appears to bring Judgement Day a tad too close for comfort.

DARPA and Boston Dynamics have unveiled their most advanced humanoid robot yet.

Named Atlas, the bot stands a 6’2″ (188cm) and weighs in at 330lbs (150kg). Not something to bump in to down a dark alley, that’s for sure.

Atlas is incredibly advanced and consists of 28 hydraulic joints replicate almost every degree of human motion and will eventually be self-powered and free to roam wherever it wishes.

The robot’s sight is provided by a Carnegie Robotics LIDAR and stereo camera system. LIDAR, or light-based radar, is the same detection and ranging system used by autonomous vehicles, such as Google’s self-driving car and the Anybots QB.


While Atlas is initially conceived as becoming a disaster response robot, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine Atlas being the infantry of a robotic army, supported by BigDogs with forward recon provided by Hummingbirds.

Currently, the DARPA Atlas robot is a shell but there’s a competition in which more than a dozen teams will compete called the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) the winner of which will have made the best brain for the DARPA Atlas robot.

“In December 2013, each team will load up an Atlas with its software and compete in a series of disaster response trials. The best teams will receive continued funding from DARPA, and will then compete in the DRC finals in December 2014. Whoever wins that will receive $2 million from DARPA, and presumably a big contract for the commercial production of Atlas robots.”

For more information about the competition to create a new brain for Atlas check out the Robotics Challenge website for details.

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